Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Assembly Line of Horses

Everyone Went on a Hack

After my doctor's appointment today, I was home by about 5:30. I changed clothes quickly and went out to the barn.

Now, if yesterday was warm, today was summerlike for sure. My car thermometer read 82 f when I left school. I felt really guilty because I had left lightweight sheets on the Boys since the forecast was for the low 60's with showers in the afternoon.

No showers and 20 more degrees. Yeech.

I decided since it was so warm that I might as well just take whomever I could ride before dark out on a hack in the woods.

Did you know it is possible to ride three horses in the space of just under and hour and a half as long as you treat it like an assembly line?

Pull off sheet. Put on saddle pad, then saddle. Bridle up. Use mounting block to climb on board. Open gate, and head out to the "shorty trail" about 20 minutes max.

Blessings upon living on top of the aquifer as the ground had dried out considerably since Sunday. The footing was not perfect, but the mud was minimal and nobody slipped.

Tucker was first and we had a nice quiet trip. I followed him with Toby and again, a nice quiet ride. Third came Chance and once more, a nice quiet ride. The only little glitch was a pair of young men who were hiking back from the lake and Chance did have to stop and have a good look at them. He decided quickly they posed no danger and marched off towards home as a good trail horse should.

By a bit after 6PM, everyone got a quick groom with the shedding blade, a nice flake of hay, and evening feed. With the time change, it was still light enough at that point to enjoy the warm air. I left the sheets off for now and will put them back on when I go out for late snacks.

The weather is decidedly frustrating, however. Tomorrow, rain is forecast with flood warnings out. The rain is supposed to get heavy, and continue into Friday when a new cold front will come through dropping the temperatures into the 30's. There is even the possibility of some sleet.

I always take special care with the Boys during such drastic weather changes. Selecting the right "outfits" is, of course high priority, but I also watch their feed. I make sure they have extra hay available, and I give them hot bran mashes to aid digestion.

Seems to me I have been doing that a bit more than usual this winter.

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